CARES Act Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27, 2020 provides $2 trillion in relief for multiple sectors of the economy coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds from this Act are being provided to South Piedmont Community College to help “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” and costs associated with changes to modes of instruction. South Piedmont Community College has been awarded $977,809 of these funds and acknowledges, based on the Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement, to use at least 50% of the funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses based on section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

South Piedmont Community College identified 1,393 traditional adult students enrolled for the spring 2020 term. Approximately 687 of the 1,393 traditional adult student have a Free Application of Federal Student Aid on file.


South Piedmont will disburse a minimum of 50% ($488,905) of CARES Act Funds to students enrolled in the spring 2020 term based on the following criteria:

  • Student must have a 2019/2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file and based on the information from the FAFSA:
  • Be a US Citizen, Eligible Non-Citizen, Permanent Resident
  • Be registered with Selective Service (male students only)
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Be enrolled in a Title IV eligible program of study
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for the spring, 2020 term
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan
  • Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants or loans
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent or has completed one of the ability-to-benefit (ATB) alternatives
  • Not have a federal or state drug conviction while receiving federal student aid
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.


South Piedmont has created a formula for disbursement of funds.

Enrollment Status/LevelAward Amount
Full-Time enrollment (12 or more credits)$800
Part-Time enrollment (9-11 credits)$600
Half-Time enrollment (6-8 credits)$400
Less than Half-Time enrollment (1-5 credits)$200

Students are mailed a check to the mailing address South Piedmont has on file for the student.

As of December 3, 2020, 664 students were disbursed CARES funding totaling $366,775.00.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) was created under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) on December 27, 2020 and provides $23 billion for higher education institutions.

South Piedmont Community College has been awarded $977,809 of these funds. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA does not require that 50% of an institution’s funds be spent on student grants. It does, however, require that institutions spend at least the same dollar amount on student grants as they were required to spend under the CARES Act. Additionally, any unused CARES Act funds that an institution did not spend prior to December 27, 2020 may be spent in accordance with the allowable uses of the HEERF II Funds.

South Piedmont Community College has set aside $488,905 in CRRSAA funds for student grants. There is a remaining $122,129 in CARES Act funding as of December 27, 2020.

South Piedmont Community College identified 1,349 traditional adult students enrolled for the spring 2021 term.

According to the CRRSAA guidance leftover CARES funds or HEERF II funds can go toward a balance due on the student account as long as the student opts-in with an authorization to credit the grant funds to their student account. There was identified 238 students on a NelNet payment plan with a balance due for the spring term with $161,043.23 due Our Business Office sent an email notification to these 238 students and attached a fillable verification form allowing the student to consent that HEERF II funds be applied to their 2021SP balance.

Within the CRRSAA guidance schools must prioritize students with exceptional need. South Piedmont identified approximately 245 of the 1,349 traditional adult student having a Free Application of Federal Student Aid on file with an EFC between 0-5711 (cut off for Pell grant). South Piedmont granted $500 in HEERF I (CARES) funding to 245 students with an EFC between 0-2100 totaling $122,500. An additional $98,500 in HEERF II funds were disbursed to 197 students. 126 students with an EFC between 2101-5711 at South Piedmont were awarded $400 in HEERF II funding for a total of $50,400.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reports

March 2021: CARES Act Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reports